Customer Station Attendant Karen Neader is a friendly face for locals at Gunnedah Station, in fact she’s the face. As the sole employee at the station, she’s taken customer service to a whole new level, exemplifying putting the customer at the centre of everything she does.
What do you do?
My role is to provide the best experience for our customers at Gunnedah Station by ensuring a clean, safe and welcoming environment. I support the train crew, drivers and train operations. I also actively engage with the community, promoting rail as the best way to travel.
What does your day look like?
A normal day includes ticket sales, customer service, booking luggage, general office duties, assisting our senior citizens with their travel needs and station maintenance. The connection I share with customers is a very special and valued part of my role, with some of them frequently travelling to Newcastle and Sydney for ongoing medical treatment.
What’s unique about your region?
Gunnedah is a vibrant community of wonderful, friendly people. The area is rich in agriculture, such as cropping and livestock, and abundant in high quality coal, producing over 10 million tonnes per annum. It’s also known as the koala capital of the world!
Communication, empathy and great customer service skills are needed in this role, as well as being able to adapt to changing situations and coming up with solutions quickly.
Most challenging part of your job
On the North West line, we deal with regular disruptions mostly due to the amount of coal traffic on the rail line. My role is to keep our customers in the know during time delays, and if required, help them transition on to rail replacement coaches as smoothly as possible.
Most rewarding part
Helping our customers. It’s very satisfying when someone pops in to thank me for looking after their mum or making their trip a little easier. Working closely with a great team at NSW TrainLink is also highly rewarding. My recent award from the Secretary, Tim Reardon for Individual Excellence was a fantastic surprise! It’s great to know that I am living up to our values when it comes to our customers’ experiences.
Sum up your job in three words
Challenging, fun, rewarding.